What does Cyberbullying mean?
Cyberbullying is when technology is used to hurt someone else by sending them messages, pictures or comments that are hurtful and mean. How does Cyberbullying make a person feel?
If you are being cyberbullied, you might:
Why do people Cyberbully others?
- Have trouble sleeping
- Feel down about yourself and think there is something wrong with you
- Feel unsafe
- Feel scared
- Feel sad and angry
- Feel sick
- Feel like hurting yourself
- Feel like you don’t want to live anymore
There are many different reasons why people may cyberbully, and we have listed some below, but it is important for you to know and understand that if you are being cyberbullied THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU. It is the bully who has the problem and that may be because:
What does it mean to have a “Lighthouse Person”?
- They are feeling jealous
- They are feeling angry
- They want to try and get other people to like them but don’t realise this is the wrong way of going about it
- They want to feel better about themselves by putting you down
- They like the power that comes with making someone else feel bad.
In The Magic Coat we talk about an adult that you can trust to listen and guide you to be your “lighthouse person”. Just as a lighthouse guides ships away from hitting rocks a “lighthouse person” will guide you through difficult and challenging times in life. Some people may have one lighthouse person, some have more but they must be an adult and they must be someone that you trust.
ok but what makes cyberbullying sometimes feel worse is that because the words are written down, they can seem more permanent and we know that what happens on the internet usually stays on the internet. USING A BEACH BALL ANALOGY TO HELP YOU
If you ever receive a nasty or rude comment through technology, never doubt yourself. In The Magic Coat we talk about imagining words are like a beach ball. If you like the words someone says to you, you can catch the ball but if you don’t like what they say just drop that beach ball and don’t think about what they said anymore. This takes some practice, but you can do it! NEVER ENGAGE WITH CYBERBULLIES
If you do receive a nasty message it can be tempting to want to return the insult, but you need to remember that two wrongs NEVER make a right. Also, if you engage and start going back and forth insulting each other you are both going to be cyberbullies and the situation can escalate. Instead, you need to show an adult (your lighthouse person) what has been written. TAKE A SCREENSHOT
Once you have shown your adult what has been written you need to take a screenshot that you can print out. Once you have printed it out you can place it in a diary on the date it has happened and do this for any other comments you may get. This solid evidence can be used by those in authority to put a stop to it. REPORT THE CYBERBULLYING
You can report the bullying to the social media platform that you are using as well so that they can remove the comment. You can also report the cyberbullying to schools, universities or workplaces and if things get extremely out of hand then the police. BLOCK PEOPLE WHO INSULT AND HARASS YOU
Once you have shown an adult and taken a screenshot you need to block the person who is harassing you so that they can’t continue. Don’t worry if they will no longer be your friend. You need to surround yourself with
healthy friends, not unhealthy ones.
In The Magic Coat we talk about the difference between a healthy and unhealthy friend. A healthy friend is someone who you feel safe and trust. They accept and like you just the way you are and only want the best for you.
An unhealthy friend doesn’t make you feel safe because you don’t feel that you can be yourself around them. You feel like you have to act differently around them because they won’t accept you just the way you are. NEVER SHARE, LIKE OR FORWARD CYBERBULLYING INCIDENTS
If you do any of these things you are acting as badly as the person who first did the cyberbullying. Stand up for kindness, not cruelty. ALWAYS ACT WITH CARE AND EMPATHY WHEN USING TECHNOLOGY
When you use technology remember that there is another human being on the receiving end of messages. You do not want to be the person that causes pain and hurt, no matter how they may act towards you. Always be the better person. USE YOUR SELF TALK TO REASSURE YOURSELF YOU ARE GOING TO BE OKAY
In The Magic Coat we talk about using the analogy of an oyster and a pearl. At the bottom of the ocean, lots of irritants are washed into its mouth and instead of the oyster closing itself off from the world it secretes a substance called nacre and this nacre builds up to create a pearl which is one of nature's strongest gems. We too have things that are said and done to us that can make us want to hide away from the world but instead of hiding we can use something powerful called “Self-Talk”. Self-talk is all the thoughts we have in our head everyday and all of us have between 40-50 thousand thoughts a day.
If we choose to focus on the thoughts like, “there is something wrong with me”, “nobody likes me”, “life sucks” then we are going to feel awful. We need to train our brain to focus on self talk like, “everything is going to be okay”, “I am loved”, “I am smart”, “I will get through this”. Using our self talk when we have been cyberbullied is an important strategy to help manage the negative feelings we experience. HAVE SELF CONFIDENCE IN WHO YOU ARE
When you are cyberbullied, it is easy to doubt your own views and beliefs and it is easy to start believing that there is something wrong with you.
In The Magic Coat we talk about having a pocket full of starfish that represent five things you know to be true about what makes you special and amazing. When you know why you are special and amazing (and everyone is for their own unique reasons) it is easier to shrug off the negative comments you may receive on social media. STOP FREQUENTLY CHECKING FACEBOOK AND SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
Instead of spending every minute of your day wondering and checking on social media find other, more productive ways to use your time. For example, take a walk in nature, get creative, write a journal, phone or facetime with a friend. If you are really struggling to not check your social media, ask your lighthouse friend to hold onto your phone or computer for a while. IT IS OKAY NOT TO HAVE SOCIAL MEDIA
These days it can seem like everyone has social media and that is probably not far from the truth, but there are many people who also choose not to have social media. It is okay for you to make the decision to stand out from the crowd and not have social media and to keep your life private.